His hand reached out for his drink, but as his eyes were directed elsewhere, he knocked it over. Patience caught it before it did more than slosh a few drops over the brim, and placed the glass between his fingers. He took a drink and then would have missed the table when setting it back down, had not Patience taken it and done so herself.
It was their third day on the cruise. Patience had indeed kept Mike busy in the interim. After his walk on the first day, they had played shuffleboard and gone skeet shooting. The second day, after a breakfast that included grits, they had climbed the rock wall and gone ice-skating before having a quiet seafood dinner. This morning, after enjoying room service, Patience had brought Mike to the Celebrity Pool, a step above the ordinary swimming venue.
“What can’t you believe, Mike?” she asked, already knowing the answer.
“I can’t believe that swimsuits could possibly be that small. I really don’t even see the point. They should just swim naked.”
The two of them sat side by side on chaise lounges. The twenty by forty foot Celebrity Pool, with a waterfall at one end and twin whirlpools at the other, sat beneath the cool blue panes of the solarium. The warm wood of the deck contrasting with the deep blue of the chaise lounge pads, made it seem like some trendy Los Angeles restaurant rather than an ordinary swimming pool.
Mike, like the other men present, wore a pair of colorful trunks that covered him from the waist to the tops of the knees. His suit probably contained as much material as every female swimsuit in the area put together. He had expressed his thoughts that Patience’s suit was quite scandalous when she had purchased it, composed as it was of four three inch triangles, one in front and one in the back of her bottoms, and one as each cup of the tops. Cup hardly seemed the appropriate word. The little purple suit now proved to be the most modest at the poolside. Most of the women were completely topless and the bottoms of their suits consisted of mostly string—in back and in front.
“How do they do it?” he wondered.
“They seem to enjoy showing off their bodies,” replied Patience.
“No, I don’t mean the women. When I was twenty, I wouldn’t have been able to walk around here without a tent in my pants. I’m having a hard enough time now.”
He readjusted the texTee sitting in his lap.
“The boys are used to it,” said Patience. “And if it gets to be too stimulating, they can always jump into the water.”
Mike nodded. There did seem to be more men in the water than women.
Patience received a call from Wanda. She and Ryan were going to the water park to slide down the big water slides. Did she and Mike want to come along?
“No. We’ll meet you for dinner though. The Incubus Steakhouse: I have dinner reservations for 7:00. If I don’t hear back from you, I’ll assume that it’s all right with Ryan.”
“What’s the matter?” asked Mike.
“Nothing. I think we should eat a light salad for lunch, given your breakfast feast. Are you hungry?”
“I will be in about half an hour.”
Mike lifted up his texTee and smoothed out the front of his suit. Then he began watching the rest of Watchmen. Five minutes later, he looked up to see Bella and Delia standing beside him. He slammed the texTee back into his lap, perhaps a little too forcefully.
“Ladies,” he said, through clenched teeth.